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THE SITUATION ROOM

Romney's Tax Returns; Outrage Following Police Shooting; Interview with Congressman Van Hollen

Aired August 17, 2012 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Sandra Endo here reporting in Washington, D.C.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Happening now: The Obama campaign offers Mitt Romney a deal on releasing his tax returns and it doesn't take long to get an answer.

The punk rock band and the protests -- how an anti-government song landed three women in prison.

And outrage after a police shooting is caught on tape, one man, six officers, and dozens of rounds fired.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar, along with Joe Johns. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

First, some breaking news here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has just released tax returns from 2010 and 2011. This is breaking. We will be getting more information on this in just a moment. And we will bring that to you.

But, first, we begin with an offer that took Mitt Romney's campaign team almost no time to refuse.

JOHNS: President Obama's campaign offered to stop hammering Romney for not releasing more tax returns if he'd only go public with a few more years worth of information.

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian tells us why there's no deal -- Dan.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Joe, Democrats say they want to know more about Mitt Romney's personal finances. They have been hitting him on news shows and also in political ads. And now the Obama campaign says they will stop asking questions if Mitt Romney releases additional three more years of tax returns.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LOTHIAN (voice-over): It's the political version of let's make a deal. If Mitt Romney releases more tax returns, the Obama campaign promises to back off and stop running ads like this one.

NARRATOR: Did Romney pay 10 percent in taxes, 5 percent, zero? We don't know.

LOTHIAN: The offer came in a letter from Obama reelection campaign manager Jim Messina to Governor Mitt Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades. "Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide," the letter reads. "So I'm prepared to provide assurances on just that point. If the governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more."

Governor Romney has been under pressure from Democrats to be more transparent on his taxes after he insisted on releasing only two years of returns. Even some Republicans have urged him to do more to make this issue go away. But Mr. Romney counters that his personal taxes are not what voters care about.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Given the challenges that Americans faces, 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty, the fascination with taxes I have paid I find to be very small-minded.

LOTHIAN: He did reveal that he's paid no less than 13 percent of his income in taxes over the past decade. But even Ann Romney admits that making more returns public is a bad political move.

ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: The more we release, the more we get attacked.

LOTHIAN: Which brings us back to this offer, which was quickly dismissed in a letter from Governor Romney's campaign manager, who wrote: "It's clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney's tax returns, instead of the issues that matter to voters." He signs off with, "See you in Denver," the site of the first presidential debate.

Principal deputy White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked to defend this ongoing line of attack.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The fact is Governor Romney has it within his capacity to put all these questions to rest before the end of the day today. And I do anticipate, I do think that the voters do have an expectation about transparency. That is important.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LOTHIAN: Now, Republicans point out that here you have the White House talking about transparency when they charge the White House has not been transparent on Fast and Furious or on White House staffers using their personal e-mails for official business, and these Republicans say that you won't find a poll out there that shows that voters care more about this issue than they do about jobs or the overall economy -- Joe.

JOHNS: Dan Lothian at the White House.

CNN chief national correspondent John King is here.

And, John, we're just now starting to look through all of these tax returns and I think the essential information we have at the top is an adjusted gross income for Mitt Romney in 2010 of $215,000

KEILAR: Paul Ryan.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Paul Ryan.

JOHNS: Paul Ryan. I'm sorry. Paul Ryan, it's $215,000 in 2010, $323,000 in 2011. It looks like his tax rate is around 15.9 percent, apparently, not really exciting, quite frankly, compared to what we're really looking for, which is Mitt Romney.

KING: A couple things at work here politically. The Ryans paid 15.9 percent in 2010 and 20 percent an effective tax rate in 2011.

So what Democrats will say, well, he paid a higher rate than Mitt Romney who paid somewhere around 13 percent and they will say, Governor Romney, give us more. The Democrats are not going to stop the give us more. Paul Ryan actually had to give more years of these tax forms, more years of these tax forms to the Romney vetting.

Democrats will say, well, if you got to see them in private, why won't the American people get to see them in public? When you look at the numbers here, another question people ask, Paul Ryan, couple weeks ago during the vice presidential process did amend his congressional disclosure forms and now he says during the vetting he realized an honest mistake, he found something and said this isn't in my forms.

Cynics will say did he know he was about to become or possibly about to become in the public eye and is that why he amended them? We will go through this debate. Nothing shockingly jumps out here. His wife inherited some properties. Her mom passed away a little more than a year ago. And so you do see a jump from 2010 to 2011, and she inherited a trust when her mom passed away. And some of that, I believe, is rental property.

JOHNS: What he and his wife actually paid, $34,233 in federal taxes in 2010 and $64,764 in federal taxes on adjusted income of $323,000 in 2011.

KEILAR: And this, I should mention, what you're seeing right now, this is 2010. This is the 2010 tax return.

KING: So we're still waiting. Remember, Governor Romney released his -- let's get the years right -- he released his 2010 tax forms and he's -- 2011, he filed for an extension and they said he will release his 2011 tax forms as soon as they're completed and filed.

Obviously you would expect that to happen before the election. This is part of a -- the Ryan disclosure is on par with what pretty much happens. Again the Democrats will say give us more years and this whole debate when it comes to Governor Romney, release more, has been part of the Obama campaign's two track -- there's a two-track strategy. One is to say he's a rich guy, he doesn't understand the middle class, and the other part is to say, if you won't release them, are you hiding something?

KEILAR: Let's talk about the timing here, too. It's Friday night, guys.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Absolutely. Friday night dumps are a longstanding bipartisan tradition in Washington. To put things out on Friday night, and it's summer Friday night, it's a double-whammy.

JOHNS: Charity is interesting here, too. Apparently donating $2,600 to charity in 2010, but $12,991 in 2011, so just a huge jump...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: His income spiked a little bit from year-to-year. His charitable contributions, it's -- I don't know how you would characterize this. They're by no means in Governor Romney's league or by no means in President Obama's league when it comes to income. Three young kids, people will look through them, nothing jumps off the table at the moment.

But guess what? Every opposition researcher with accounting skills in the Democratic Party is looking at these documents right now.

JOHNS: And we will be going through them again and again and again.

KEILAR: And still a lot of people would hope to make $215,000 or a year $323,000 a year.

KING: Amen.

KEILAR: We will definitely say that. Thank you, John. Appreciate it.

JOHNS: Thanks, John.

KEILAR: Now, around the world today, rock stars and political leaders are condemning the prison sentences handed to three members of a Russian punk rock band, their crime, singing a song critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a church.

Even White House officials are upset about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The United States is disappointed by the verdict, including the disproportionate sentences that were granted. While we understand the group's behavior was offensive to some, we have serious concerns about the way that these young women have been treated by the Russian judicial system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: CNN's Phil Black is in Moscow, and, by the way, if you haven't heard the band's name before, it may come as a bit of a shock.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, whether the court would find these women guilty or not guilty was never really in doubt.

But the punishment, that was still in play. The court could've given them seven years, and it went for two. Outside the court, a large crowd of Pussy Riot supporters still wasn't happy with that result.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK (voice-over): The women of Pussy Riot spent hours waiting in their glass box for the judge to start reading her verdict.

Yekaterina Samutsevitch, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova chatted together and wondered when they would next see each other and where that would be. Outside, a crowd of supporters gathered. Police showed some tolerance, but they were easily provoked and many were arrested.

There were also members of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is why Russia's religious were offended, a 30-second performance in Moscow's main cathedral praying for President Vladimir Putin to go.

The judgment took three hours to read. And, throughout, there was little doubt it would find them guilty. The judge frequently referred to their behavior as insulting and disrespectful to the Orthodox Church and all of Russia's faithful. She criticized their short skirts and high kicks and said they were motivated by hatred for religion.

She ruled they remained a danger to society and sentenced them to two years. The women smiled, but looked a little stunned as people in the court shouted "Shame."

Outside, much of the crowd also reacted angrily. This woman was clearly inspired by Pussy Riot's example. The police waited for her to come down until she pulled on a pink balaclava. The women's families were in court. The father of Yekaterina Samutsevitch said his innocent daughter was being sent to jail. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's husband said he wasn't surprised by the outcome, despite Vladimir Putin saying he hoped they wouldn't be punished harshly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two years of a Brutal prison for President Putin is, well, somewhat of a lenient sentence.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BLACK: The time the women have been in custody will count towards their sentence. So that's about six months off the top already. It could be reduced further on appeal.

But either way, it is a significant period of time considering that performance in the cathedral only lasted 30 seconds -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Phil Black in Moscow for us.

JOHNS: Both Republicans and Democrats have been caught stretching the truth in campaign ads, but that hasn't stopped either side from running the commercials. How they get away playing loose with the facts.

And ahead the half-hour: He's playing Paul Ryan in the vice presidential prep and has known Ryan for years. We're talking to the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen.

And later, caught on tape, one man, six police officers, and dozens of shots fired -- why the Justice Department is investigating. You will see the CNN exclusive video at 6:45 Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: CNN makes a point of fact-checking candidates and pointing out when they're wrong and why. We aren't alone in doing it. However, this year in particular, the rules have certainly changed.

Instead of correcting the record, campaigns are using social media to shamelessly repeat bogus or out-of-context claims like these.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare.

NARRATOR: If you had President Obama's record, what would you do? Deny reality?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We tried our plan and it worked.

NARRATOR: Running for governor, Mitt Romney campaigned as a job creator.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know how jobs are created.

NARRATOR: But as a corporate raider, he shipped jobs to China and Mexico.

JOE SOPTIC, WIFE DIED OF CANCER: When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care. And a short time after that, my wife became ill.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: With us now is Lauren Ashburn and she's president of Ashburn Media and editor in chief of The Daily Download. Also, Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," he is also the Washington bureau chief for "Newsweek" and The Daily Beast.

KEILAR: Let's start with you, Howie, because when you look at the ads that we just showed you, they have all been fact-checked. We have done some of the fact-checks ourselves. And they're either out of context or they're wrong.

Does this get through to voters? Specifically I think of the welfare ad that the Romney campaign has put out, the Priorities USA action ad tying...

(CROSSTALK)

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Suggesting that...

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: That Mitt Romney's responsible for a woman's death.

KURTZ: For the death of a woman.

KEILAR: Does this get through?

KURTZ: When I started fact-checking presidential ads for "The Washington Post" in 1992, it was a big deal if I said something was misleading or exaggerated. The campaigns had to respond.

Now the campaigns don't care. They can overwhelm and drown out those of us in the mainstream media who try to truth-squad, who try to fact-check these things, and they have a lot more channels to do it.

LAUREN ASHBURN, DAILY-DOWNLOAD.COM: And that takes the traditional media role and throws it out the window.

JOHNS: It certainly does. Does it mean that we don't have the ability to really separate fact from fiction?

ASHBURN: No, it means the campaigns don't care. They have their own distribution networks right now with social media.

Barack Obama has 27 million followers on Facebook. And who needs us? When he has his message, he can send it out. If his believers want to believe it, they believe it. Those who don't, well, OK.

KURTZ: I would disagree with who needs us because I think that for all the time and energy that the campaign, the candidates, the operatives, even though we have less access to the candidates these days, trying to spin the media, trying to set up interviews or do soft interviews, as the president has done recently with "People" and "Entertainment Weekly," shows that they understand we still have a megaphone.

It's just that our megaphone is so much smaller than it used to be because of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and a certain shamelessness I have to say on the part of candidates that don't seem to care that they have been called on factually misleading claims.

ASHBURN: It's actually good for them. It's really good for them if they are called on...

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNS: Why?

ASHBURN: Because then it gets them in the game in the media.

KEILAR: Fund-raising.

ASHBURN: And they can just repeat it and repeat it and repeat it. And if it's not checked, it's even better.

JOHNS: So people like lies?

ASHBURN: People like to believe what they like to believe. And that's what they want to re-tweet. And that's what they want to repost. And so it also is just the old attention gets attention.

KURTZ: The challenge we face, Joe, is that some of this is complicated stuff. You showed some of the clips of the Obama cut $716 million from Medicare.

Well, Paul Ryan in his budget which passed the House makes the same assumptions about $700 billion less money for Medicaid. He uses it differently. He does it differently. Try explaining that in 30 seconds.

An ad can make a claim, you can come on the air and say, I'm sorry, CNN's looked into this, it's not true, and yet for the voter, there's a lot of noise. And the campaigns, more than any other cycle I have covered, seem to just keep pressing on with disputed and debunked claims.

ASHBURN: There are also shades of gray, a lot of shades of gray in this.

JOHNS: Thanks so much for that. Howard Kurtz, Lauren Ashburn, good to see you both.

KEILAR: Thank you, both, for being with us.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: Well, President Obama, he is being criticized by the Republicans for a series of interviews that he's doing. You will hear part of one next. And here's a hint. He's not talking about politics in this one.

And how a professional clown ended up using an iPad stolen from the home of Apple founder Steve Jobs. You cannot make this stuff up.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

JOHNS: If you're the Obama/Biden campaign, and you're preparing for the vice presidential debate, who do you get to stand in for Paul Ryan in rehearsals? This guy. Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen. He is the ranking member on the Budget Committee and knows Ryan well. He's our guest in THE SITUATION ROOM next.

And later: one man, six cops, and at least 30 shots fired -- why the Justice Department's investigating a police shooting caught on tape, a CNN exclusive video ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put the knife down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, put the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) knife down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put the knife down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: CNN has learned Joe Biden's campaign team will bring in Maryland congressman Chris Van Hollen to help him prepare to debate Paul Ryan. Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, Van Hollen is the committee's top Democrat.

KEILAR: And Maryland representative Chris Van Hollen is with us now. Thank you so much for being with us, congressman. You know Paul Ryan pretty well.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Yes.

KEILAR: You've worked with him for many years. So how are you prepping? And what do you see as his biggest weakness?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, look. Paul and I get along very well personally. We resolved quite some time ago because of our deep differences, we would try to make sure we express them in a civil manner. So, we have had very sharp debates. So, my main responsibility was to make sure I fully inform all the members of the president's team, vice president's team about exactly what that budget does, but more importantly how it is presented by Paul Ryan because the vice president's very familiar with that budget. After all, we had the Biden group. I was privileged to serve on that. So, that will be the main function.

JOHNS: And you're on the budget committee, he's the chairman of the budget committee that certainly suggests to everybody that you believe the Ryan plan is going to be a big part of the debate. VAN HOLLEN: Absolutely I do. Because I think by choosing Paul Ryan to be on the ticket, Mitt Romney really sharpened the issues here because the fundamental choice they make in the Ryan budget, the Ryan/Romney budget is to provide another round of tax breaks for people at the expense of everybody else, seniors, on Medicare, investment on kids' education and middle income taxpayers. So, this will really sharpen the issues. I think the debate's going to be good for the country.

KEILAR: You said Congressman that Paul Ryan is civil but he doesn't compromise. So, I want to ask you about something because actually we pulled from your Web site, the committee Web site for the minority, for the Democrats. And this is something you worked on with Paul Ryan co-authoring this bill giving the president line item veto authority to stop unnecessary government spending. I mean that kind of looks like bipartisanship there.

VAN HOLLEN: Actually, this was an important measure. It was not a huge measure, it was an important measure. I was glad we were able to do it. This is not an example of compromise, however, for this reason. Paul Ryan had a bill introduced like this, doing what this did. I had a bill doing what this did. We agreed on this policy, we were able to --

KEILAR: And there were problems with his.

VAN HOLLEN: We were able to collaborate and come together on this particular bill. But it wasn't a question of, you know, either of us having to agree and compromise on something we disagreed with. We agreed on this. I'm glad -- there are some Republicans against it, some for it. There are more Republicans for it than Democrats for it. But we were able to work together on it. That was a good thing, I believe.

But compromise, of course, requires give and take with respect to differences you have. And if you look at the Ryan budget and the Ryan/Romney plan, this is an uncompromising plan. I mean, this has become the tea party manifesto in the House of Representatives. And it's not because it's a document that has compromise, it's because it's a hard-edged right-wing approach to the economy.

JOHNS: The story today, of course, has been Romney's tax returns and he hasn't --

KEILAR: Paul Ryan's tax returns.

JOHNS: Well, no. Now I'm talking about Romney's tax returns. We don't want to get confused.

KEILAR: Lots of them.

JOHNS: Ryan's tax returns came out early, but the big issue has been whether Romney would release more of his tax returns. And as you know, the -- the administration has put a lot of pressure on for him to put some more out. The campaign of Romney put this out. We have a little graphic. It's clear the president wants nothing more than to talk about governor Romney's tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy, and reining in spending. So do you think this issue of Romney's tax returns whether he should release more, is that the kind of issue that breaks through? Do people really care about it that much?

VAN HOLLEN: I think they do for this reason, tax policy and tax reform is a fundamental issue in this election. Just the other night on "60 minutes, " you had Paul Ryan sitting next to Mitt Romney and he talked about how wealthy people use tax shelters to avoid having to pay more income tax than they should. You have a Romney tax plan that would drop the top rate from 35 percent to 27 percent. How does that affect people like Mitt Romney?

In other words, according to the tax policy center, that proposal would actually reduce the tax burden on the very wealthy and require middle income taxpayers to pick up the bill. Now, Mitt Romney has bank accounts in Switzerland, he has corporate investments in the Cayman Islands, various things going on in Bermuda. Let's figure out how his tax plan would affect him and how it would affect middle income taxpayers.

KEILAR: And that, we want to get your reaction to something that Paul Ryan said just a couple of hours ago and we'll talk on the other side of it. Here's what he said in Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Heard the president talking about Medicare the other day. We want this debate on Medicare. We want this debate, we need this debate and we're going to win this debate on Medicare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: And so on this, you've got the Romney/Ryan campaign and they're embracing this Medicare argument head on. He says we want this. They think they can tie President Obama when it comes to Obama care to Medicare. What do you think?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, here's the problem, we should have this debate. I don't think they're going to welcome the debate for two reasons. One is the Romney/Ryan plan on Medicare saves costs, not by reducing costs overall in the system, but by transferring the costs to seniors. You would get a voucher, but the value of your voucher would decline over time compared to rising health care costs. And you, the senior, are left on your own. The other thing is Paul Ryan's budget included all $700 billion in Medicare savings that they're now complaining about.

KEILAR: And the Romney plan does not, we should point that out.

But let me ask you lastly, as well, I talked to a Democrat who said that they're actually warning some Democrats from overreaching as this person put it on the Medicare argument, that if, the Romney/Ryan ticket is able to kind of frame themselves as these -- as I've said it grown-ups in the room who are trying to preserve Medicare that Democrats may be in danger. What do you think the chances of that happening?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, I think it's very important for people to focus on the facts. Now, when Mitt Romney says that he wants to no longer keep those savings, he's going to accelerate the insolvency of Medicare by eight years. That's according to the Medicare trustees. What he's doing now, is saying seniors are going to have to pay higher premiums so he can reinstate overpayments to private insurance companies and Medicare.

This doesn't just affect seniors ten years from now. For seniors with high prescription drug costs, they'll pay more now under that plan. For seniors who use preventive Medicare services, they will pay more and all seniors will pay higher premiums because Mitt Romney wants to reinstate these overpayments to some of the private insurance companies. So this is a debate that is fundamental, they're proposing a plan that would be much worse for seniors on Medicare than for members of congress.

KEILAR: We'll be hearing a lot more from you, I'm sure. Tell us how --

VAN HOLLEN: The debate.

KEILAR: Tell us how that debate prep goes, of course. I'm sure you'll keep us informed on that.

Chris Van Hollen, thank you very much.

VAN HOLLEN: Thanks for having me.

JOHNS: Thanks for that.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.

JOHNS: A warning for parents for something you probably never think you'd do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I realized Peyton was still in her car seat. And it was the last thing I remember. I heard someone screaming, it was me. And the rest is just a total blur.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Ahead, a government warning about the deadly trend that's killed eight children this week alone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: This next story is for parents or anyone who is around children. It's hard to believe it could happen to you, but the government says far too often children are dying of heatstroke in cars. And it happens to children of loving, responsible parents too. CNN's Sandra Endo is joining us now.

And Sandy, we were really surprised by the numbers here, they're pretty astonishing.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Brianna. And we've had record temperatures across the country this summer. And if it's hot outside, it's even hotter in your car. And today it's not that bad out. It's actually cloudy. But you can take a look at the temperature inside the car already 93 degrees this evening. So, these deadly temperatures are especially severe for young children.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: My kids got outside and they got in my car. I think they're both dead now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE DISPATCHER: Your kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: A 2two and 3-year-old.

ENDO (voice-over): Police in Tennessee rushed to the scene of two kids found dead in a car. The cause, heatstroke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really, really sad. I don't know how any parent could let their kids get in that situation and do that to their kids.

ENDO: But Reggie McKinnon knows it's the mistake even the most loving parent can make.

REGGIE MCKINNON, CHILD DIED IN HOT CAR: I opened the back door of my SUV to put my laptop down and that's the exact moment I will never forget. To my horror, I realized Peyton was still in her car seat. And it was the last thing I remember. I heard someone screaming, it was me, and the rest is just a total blur.

ENDO: Mackinnon's 17-month-old daughter, Peyton Lyn died after he absent-mindedly left her in car. Now he and top administration officials are on a mission to end hot car deaths.

RAY LAHOOD, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We want everyone to think where's baby? Look before you lock. Every time they get out of their cars.

ENDO: They want the practice to be habit-forming, and they're raising awareness about how quickly temperatures rise in closed vehicles.

LAHOOD: The temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in minutes even with windows rolled down.

BRIAN HRICIK, ALEXANDRA, VIRGINIA, FIRE DEPARTMENT: So even though it's a comfortable day here outside, with it being 94 degrees, it's over 132 degrees right now in the vehicle.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ENDO: The way to prevent hot car deaths is to use baby reminder apps on your Smartphone and never leave children allowed to play in unattended vehicles -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Very important reminder. Sandy Endo for us, thanks so much.

JOHNS: Coming up next, the CNN exclusive video of one man and six police officers.

It's what happened next that had civil rights groups outraged and the justice department investigating. You'll see it right after the break. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Today's civil rights investigators for the U.S. justice department opened a federal probe into the controversial shooting death of a Saginaw, Michigan, man with a known history of mental illness. That incident was caught on video, and we want to warn you up front we're going to show it to you even though it's very disturbing.

His mother calls the shooting quote "a firing squad dressed in police uniforms," at least 30 shots were fired. We feel we need to show you this video because it sheds light on how the police handled the case.

Here's CNN's national correspondent Jason Carroll.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A joint investigation into underway into the shooting. Amateur video details what happened during the final moments. I do have to warn you the video is graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL (voice-over): This amateur video purchased by CNN and not made public until now captured the confrontation between six Saginaw police officers and Milton Hall, a 49-year-old man who his family says suffered from serious mental health issues.

Hall, seen in the middle of your screen who he say, had just a run-in with the convenience store clerk. He was in a standoff with police and holding some sort of knife, a female officer is heard shouting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE OFFICER: Put the knife down! Put the knife down!

HALL MILTON, 49-YEARS-OLD: I'm not putting (bleep) down.

CARROLL: If you listen carefully, Hall is then heard continuing to yell at police.

MILTON: I just called 911. My name is Milton -- CARROLL: Hall seems agitated, but not intimidated by a police dog.

MILTON: Let him go. Let him go. Let the mother (bleep) dog go.

CARROLL: Heard on the tape, a witness describes what he sees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karate stance --

CARROLL: Then, as Hall appears to take a few steps, everything comes to a head. Local media report 46 shots were fired. CNN counted the sounds of at least 30 shots on the videotape.

Anthony Baber witnessed the shooting.

ANTHONY BABER, SHOOTING WITNESS: All of a sudden, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. And he drops, you know? Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, and he drops. I was about where that blue van is. I was parked in my van.

CARROLL: Tabitha Perry saw it too.

TABITHA PERRY, SHOOTING WITNESS: I heard one of the officers say something to the fact where -- put the knife down, or I let the dog go.

CARROLL: And do you believe the officers were justified in what they did?

PERRY: No, I don't. No, I don't. Because what they did, there was a better way to do it. I think their judgment was off.

CARROLL: Perry is not alone. Hall's mother says Saginaw police overreacted.

JEWEL HALL, MOTHER OF MILTON HALL: Emotionally, I have a lot of pain, and I'm stunned that six human beings were standing in front of one human being and fired 46 shots. I just don't understand that.

CARROLL: On the day of the shooting, July 1st, the Saginaw police chief defended his officers' actions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's someone, from our understanding, has a long history, not only with police from our department, but with the county, known to be an assaultive person.

CARROLL: Over the last month, members of the community have voiced outrage about the hall shooting. Not satisfied with the police investigation into the officers' response. We showed the video of the shooting to city councilman Norman Braddock.

NORMAN BRADDOCK, SAGINAW CITY COUNCIL: I can see why people are traumatized at looking at something like that. And we need answers.

CARROLL: Braddock has been critical of what he calls the slow phase of the shooting investigation. Could it be the investigators are trying to make sure they're doing a thorough job and that's why the investigation is --

BRADDOCK: I'm sure that has something to do with it but at the same time it should be a top priority.

CARROLL: Where you are in terms of the investigation?

The Michigan state police lead investigator would not discuss the case. Instead, referring us to the Saginaw county prosecutor who told us, "I can't tell you when the investigation will be completed. The matter is being thoroughly investigated by an independent police agency, the Michigan state police along with Michigan attorney general's office."

Hall's mother already feels she knows the answer to the question of whether police used too much force.

JEWEL HALL: It appeared to be a firing squad dressed in police uniforms and there was another way. They did not have to kill him.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, Saginaw, Michigan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: The six officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation and, again, the U.S. justice department is investigating as well.

KEILAR: Coming up after the break in the SITUATION ROOM, know research into an animal phenomenon. Why do dogs, cats, do that? Jeanne moos explains ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Dogs do it and so do a lot of other furry mammals. Behaviorists say all that shaking has a calming effect but if the animal's wet it's also better than a blow dryer.

CNN's Jeanne Moos looks at the science behind the shake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It may not be research that's earth shaking but it's definitely dog shaking and pig shaking and even rat shaking. Most of us try to avoid getting showered by the dog shake, but researchers at Georgia tech decided to study it.

DOCTOR DAVID HU, GEORGIA TECH: They can actually do a miraculous job of drying themselves.

MOOS: They used a high-speed camera to record the shakes resulting in images so stirring that the journal "Nature" put them to waltz music. A mouse shakes around 30 times per second. HU: They basically compensate for their size by shaking faster.

MOOS: While dogs shake about four times a second, leaving them 70 percent dry within one to four seconds.

Now, we humans don't want loose flesh but on a dog it comes in handy. That loose skin increases the speed at which the water's whipped away. While the dog's backbone goes back and forth only 30 degrees --

HU: The skin will go back and forth 90 degrees to the right and 90 degrees to the left. That's only possible because it's loose enough to perform this whipping action around the body.

MOOS: Increasing the force nine times. Mammals have mastered what Divo preached back in the '80s.

Hey, a vigorous whipping sure beats the blow dryer it the researchers recorded a lion. Doctor David Hu says furry mammals probably developed the shaking mechanism to avoid staying wet and getting hypothermia. Got goats do it even sheep shake.

HU: The sheep has some super style when it shakes.

MOOS: the Georgia Tech tea, even managed to x-rayed shaking. This guy looks like a rapid at disco.

Now, maybe you think a big butt is earlier to shake. But try telling that to a kangaroo. It's built for hopping, not shaking.

HU: It can't really shake. Has this sort of large buttocks and it just can't shake that around so it just shake, its head.

MOOS: Hey, whose butt are you calling big?

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: And I thought my dog did it just to annoy me.

JOHNS: She had to go there.

All right. Remember, you can follow what's going on in the SITUATION ROOM on twitter and facebook. That does it for us tonight. I'm Joe John's.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar. Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" starts right now.